Sunday, 25 May 2008

Arizona Legislature on Verge of Nixing Real ID Program

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ArizonaOn March 19 the Arizona state House passed a bill (HB2677) that would prohibit the state from putting Real ID into effect without the legislature’s approval by a vote of 51 to 8. On May 6, the state Senate passed their stronger version of the bill, which would flatly prohibit participation in the Real ID program, by a vote of 21 to 7. Next, the House must approve the Senate’s version of the bill.

Arizona would become the seventh state to pass a law prohibiting implementation of the Real ID program for driver’s licenses. Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Washington have already passed laws in 2007 barring implementation of Real ID in their states. A dozen more states have approved resolutions calling for the costs of the Real ID program to be fully covered by Congress or the act repealed.

Although the citizens of states which had not implemented Real ID were facing the possibility of not being able to use their driver’s licenses to board airplanes and enter federal buildings after May 11, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has relented. Due to the widespread Real ID rebellion among the states, DHS has been forced to extend the deadline for compliance with Real ID to the end of 2009.

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